The volume of runs scored in the World Test Championship has seen plenty of bowlers given the treatment. But a host of the game’s biggest names have bucked that trend, with five bowlers taking 50 or more wickets in WTC23.
Here we run through the five top wicket-takers as the World Test Championship heads towards this summer’s final.
Nathan Lyon, Australia – 61 wickets
Australia’s primary spinner has got through a mountain of work so far in the World Test Championship, racking up 680 overs in 26 innings and taking 61 wickets in the process.
Lyon has kept things pretty tight, with an economy rate of 2.56, and has a Championship average of 28.63.
Time and again the 35-year-old justifies his status as one of the world’s lead spinners.
James Anderson, England – 58 wickets
England’s 40-year-old star keeps on providing quality returns. His form in English conditions remains unparalleled, but away from home, he is producing world-class performances time and again.
On England’s tour of Pakistan, it was an Anderson masterclass with the veteran returning the leanest economy rate (2.20) and the best average (18.50) of all the front-line bowlers to feature on either side.
Anderson’s 58 WTC23 wickets have come in 15 matches at an average of just 20.37.
Kagiso Rabada, South Africa – 55 wickets
South Africa’s spearhead has taken big wickets throughout the World Test Championship cycle.
The strike-bowler may have gone for runs – his economy stands at 3.77 – but his short and sharp bursts have yielded 55 wickets in 11 matches.
His strike rate of 36.9 is only bettered by Australia’s seam specialist Scott Boland among all of the bowlers used in the Championship.
Ollie Robinson, England – 53 wickets
Thirteen of Ollie Robinson’s total 14 Test caps have come in the latest edition of the World Test Championship, and it’s fair to say he’s made an immediate impact on the international game.
Robinson has taken 53 wickets in those 13 Tests, with an average of 20.75 which is virtually unheard of for a player with such limited international experience.
England may have unearthed the leader of their attack for when Anderson and Stuart Broad finally hang up their boots.
Pat Cummins, Australia – 50 wickets
Australia’s skipper is the top-ranked bowler in Test cricket and also takes a place in the top ten of the all-rounder charts, so it’s hardly surprising that he’s made a big impact on the World Test Championship.
Cummins has taken 50 wickets in his 13 Championship Tests. His average of 20.12 is the best in this top-five list, while his economy of 2.61 is among the best of all of the quick bowlers used in the competition.
The Australia captain lies just one wicket ahead of his compatriot Mitchell Starc in the list.
The following five players make up the remainder of the top ten:
Mitchell Starc, Australia – 14 Tests, 49 wickets, 25.69 average, 2.98 economy
Jack Leach, England – 16 Tests, 48 wickets, 39.77 average, 2.99 economy
Jasprit Bumrah, India – 10 Tests, 45 wickets, 19.73 average, 2.70 economy
Stuart Broad, England – 11 Tests, 43 wickets, 28.32 average, 3.22 economy
Shaheen Shah Afridi, Pakistan – 8 Tests, 41 wickets, 18.19 average, 2.87 economy
The final of the World Test Championship is rapidly approaching, with only three more series to be played before this summer’s final at The Oval in London in June.
Australia are in pole position at the top of the table, with India currently in second spot and set to face them in the final as things stand. But Sri Lanka and South Africa aren’t out of the running just yet, especially with the top two set to face off in a four-test series through February and March.